State’s unemployment rate ticks up to 3.5 percent

Keywords Unemployment

Indiana’s unemployment rate ticked up for the third month in a row last month, rising from 3.4 percent in July to 3.5 percent in August as the state’s labor force continued to surge.

The Indiana Department of Workforce Development released the latest unemployment report Friday.

Indiana’s labor force—which is composed of both employed and unemployed-but-willing-to-work residents—increased by 11,085 workers from July to August, to 3.39 million. The increase came from a rise of 8,491 employed residents and a 2,594 hike in unemployed residents.

Indiana’s labor-force participation rate—the percentage of the state’s population that is either employed or actively seeking work—rose to 65 percent in August. It remains ahead of the national rate of 62.7 percent.

Private sector employment in Indiana grew by 3,600 in August over the previous month and is up more than 27,600 over the year, the state said.

August job gains were seen in the sectors of Financial Activities (2,300) and Construction (1,600). Gains were partially offset by losses in the sectors of Manufacturing (-2,000) and Other (-1,600), which includes Mining and Logging, IT and other services.

Total private employment in the state was more than 2.7 million in August.

The unemployment rate in Indiana for August was lower than the rates in neighboring states Michigan (4.1 percent), Illinois (4.1 percent), Ohio (4.6 percent) and Kentucky (4.4 percent).

The state’s unemployment rate has been lower than the national rate (currently 3.9 percent) for more than four years, except for the month of October 2014, when it was equal.

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